Ten Emotions I ALWAYS Experience whilst Writing a First Draft (and You Will Too)
Amazement – It’s 3am and I startle awake. I’ve thought of the singularly best idea ever! I don’t know why no-one’s written it before. It’s original and clever and I know readers will love it as much as I do. I scribble some notes in the notebook by my bed so I don’t forget it. I can’t wait for tomorrow to start writing it properly.
Procrastination – Although there’s nothing more I want to do than to write my story, I want to spend a little time thinking it over first. Researching my facts before I begin. I’ve endless tabs open while I Google and whilst I’m browsing I can’t resist a little on-line shopping. I need some new boots and I haven’t checked Twitter in at least ten minutes, I could be missing something really important. Now it’s lunchtime, I’ll just nip over to Instagram to see what everyone’s eating.
Excitement – Genuinely I’m so in love with my idea. The first few chapters have been effortless to write. I can’t stop talking about my plot and characters with everyone I meet. At the store the checkout girl’s eyes turn to glass when I tell her what’s happened in my story so far. I’ve never felt this enthusiastic about a book before.
Fear – There is absolutely nothing happening in the middle of my book. I don’t have nearly enough plot points. I’m not sure how I ever thought my stupid idea was enough to fill a novel. It was the worst idea I’ve ever had. No wonder no-one had ever written it before. Even my cat yawns every time I open my manuscript. My story is going to be the shortest one ever written. I’ve stopped talking about it with everyone and when someone asks ‘how’s the new book coming along?’ I shrug and stare at my shoes. I need to think of some twists, and fast.
Hope – My characters are so quirky and entertaining. Even if the plot isn’t as riveting as I ‘d like, my characters will salvage it all. Today, they made me laugh so much. They’re so interesting everyone will remember them.
Despair – My characters are ridiculous. Why did I ever think they were ‘quirky’. They are smug and irritating and everyone will loathe them. Who on earth did I base these on? Haven’t I ever met any humans?
Dismay – Now I’m over the halfway hump of the first draft and I’ve realised I have way too much plot. This could be the longest book ever written. There are too many twists. How am I ever going to fit everything in? This could be a trilogy.
Wonder – I’ve just brought tears to my eyes with the beautiful piece of prose I’ve just written for this first draft. I’ve read it aloud three times and even my cat looks marginally impressed. It’s thought provoking and so descriptive it immediately puts the reader at the centre of the scene.
Shame – I can’t believe I wrote that over-emotional drivel yesterday. What on earth was I thinking? It’s so flowery and over the top. Delete, delete, delete (and then empty the trash can for good measure).
Pride – I’ve just typed the most satisfying two words; The End! I’ve finished my first draft! Tonight I shall celebrate and tomorrow the editing will begin but wait… I’ve just had another idea. And it’s the singularly best idea anyone’s ever had. I don’t know why no-one’s ever written it before…
Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award.
Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips and at https://twitter.com/Fab_fiction where she spends far too much time.